Free Download: The Strengthening Executive Function Workbook

The Strengthening Executive Function Workbook (

Do you have students who do their assignments, but can’t remember to turn them in? Or maybe they want to get better test scores, but they can’t seem to initiate studying at home. Maybe they don’t even know what good study habits look like?


Chances are good your students are struggling with executive function.

I have a few of these students myself. As a matter of fact, most of my students have some sort of executive function challenge.

That’s why I’ve created and shared this free workbook of executive function resources. This downloadable PDF has detailed teacher instructions and templates for teaching students to make their own homework plans, organize test preparation, and overcome emotional frustrations.

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What To Do When Your Student Says “I’m Stupid!”

What To Do When Your Student Says “I’m Stupid!” (

“There’s no pain on earth that doesn’t crave a benevolent witness.”

― Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings

You’ve heard it before, and it breaks your heart:

“I’m dumb!”

“I’m stupid!”

“Everyone is better than me!”

As educators, our usual response is, “Of course not! You’re smart!”

Unfortunately, empty reassurance doesn’t fix anything.

Here’s why. When a student confesses these feelings, they’re trusting you. They’re giving you a glimpse of deep pain. Rushing to reassure the student does nothing to heal that pain.

Instead, try empathy. Continue reading “What To Do When Your Student Says “I’m Stupid!””

The Exceptional Educator, Episode 1 – Unlocking Executive Function with Pamm Scribner

The Exceptional Educator, Episode 1 – Unlocking Executive Function with Pamm Scribner (

Welcome to the first episode of The Exceptional Educator!

I’m excited to launch a new format for delivering actionable teaching strategies to learning specialists and parents – the podcast. The Exceptional Educator will feature master teachers, authors, thought-leaders, and researchers for in-depth discussions about the best ways to reach every student in the classroom, regardless of ability or learning difference.

If you have feedback on the show, please let me know by leaving a review in iTunes or tweeting @btlearning #exceptionaleducator.

I can’t think of anyone better than my good friend and mentor, Pamm Scribner, to kick off the inaugural episode of the show.

Pamm Scribner

Pamm is a world-class teacher and specialist helping kids with ADHD find success in school and life. Pamm is a Board Certified Educational Therapist, and a certified PEERS Coach through the UCLA PEERS Clinic. She is also an instructor for the University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC) Extension: Educational Therapy Certificate Program and an educational consultant for schools throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has extensive experience supporting students with executive functioning disorders and assessing and treating learning disabilities. An all-around-good-person and volunteer in her community, Pamm has been an inspiration to me, and I know she’ll inspire you as well. Please enjoy!

Listen on iTunes or on Stitcher, right click here to download an mp3, or stream below:

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Five Games You Can Use Today To Skyrocket Student Success

Growing Engagement Through Games (

When students come to work with me, I ask them to do the tasks that are hardest for them.  Then I ask them to do those tasks again and again.   All this after a full day of school, where these same students fight tooth and nail to keep up with their classmates.

I can’t help but feel complimented when my students run down the hallway and burst through the office door to see me (…to the frustration of the accountant and architect next door.  Sorry about that!).   Bar none, the biggest reason my students are excited about our educational therapy sessions – games.  Kids love games.  We know this, but it can be easy to forget the power of play.

We all know that academic learning time (ALT) is hugely important.  Some research indicates that kids only spend about 20% of their day successfully engaged in academic tasks (Archer & Hughes, 2010).  Twenty percent.  Good heavens!  Think about it – kids feel successful and excited when playing, which in turn boosts their attention and retention.  Games are the secret sauce for ALT.   This is why I want to share with you five of the top-requested, most-played games I use every week in my practice.

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Free Download: Letter Reversal Worksheets and Activities

The Eliminating Letter Reversals Workbook (

Do you work with older elementary students who reverse their letters?  Do you know middle school students who still invert the letters b and d?  This free book of worksheets and activities is for you!


This eighteen-page download includes 5 free activities for teaching correct letter orientation for the letters b and d:

  • Activity 1 – Handwriting Practice
  • Activity 2 – Visual ID Game
  • Activity 3 – Finding Letters
  • Activity 4 – Word Reading and Dictation
  • Activity 5 – Sentence Reading and Dictation

Each activity includes detailed instructions as well as content-rich activity pages.

In case you missed it, my previous post, What Tigers Can Teach Us About Letter Reversals, is an exploration of why letter reversals happen, and some of the best-researched interventions for teaching children correct letter orientation.

You can join the Bay Tree Blog mailing list to receive access to our Free Downloads Archive, which includes The Eliminating Letter Reversals Workbook for b and d. Please use the form below to sign up.

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What Tigers Can Teach Us About Letter Reversals

What Tigers Can Teach Us About Letter Reversals (

I know you’re probably wondering about this tiger thing, but first, a story…

Several months ago, I received this email from the teacher of one of my 4th-grade students:

Emma has been reversing the letters “b” and “d” in her writing. For the most part, I am able to decipher what word she is trying to spell, but it’s often difficult for her peers to read her words. I understand that this is part of her dyslexia, but is there anything I can do to help her in this area?

Emma is a creative writer whose stories brim with voice and vim, but it can get confusing when dad is spelled b-a-d. With her energy and creativity, I can see her working as a successful television writer someday.

In order to help students like Emma avoid letter and number reversals, it’s important to first understand why some students make this common mistake. Let’s dive into the research.

Continue reading “What Tigers Can Teach Us About Letter Reversals”